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Archive of Mac Pro Rumors

After nearly three and a half years with only a minor processor bump, Apple late last year launched its redesigned Mac Pro, moving to a compact cylindrical design relying on a slew of Thunderbolt 2 ports for expandability. While the new machine began shipping in the last few days of 2013, extreme shortages of the machine persisted for months and it wasn't until two months ago that shipping estimates reached the "within 24 hours" level and Apple's own retail stores began stocking the Mac Pro for immediate purchase.

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Potential Mac Pro customers may now, however, be starting to look forward to the first update for the redesigned Mac Pro, as Intel appears set to launch new processors appropriate for the Mac Pro next month. As highlighted by Macworld UK, Intel's "Grantley" Xeon E5 v3 chips are nearly ready to ship as successors to the current "Romley" Xeon E5 v2 chips used in the Mac Pro.

Intel announced last month that it had begun shipping at least some versions of the new Xeon E5 v3 chips to server makers, and widespread availability is reportedly set for September. ChipLoco outlined a significant set of E5-2600 v3 series chips, including several that recently became available for pre-order and could be used as an upgrade to the current top-of-the-line 2.7 GHz 12-core E5-2697 v2 chip found in the Mac Pro.

The direct successor to the current chip is the 2.6 GHz 14-core E5-2697 v3 chip, although the new chip does come with a higher thermal rating and it is unclear whether that change would have any impact on Apple's willingness to use the chip in the Mac Pro. Other variants in the new high-end E5-269x v3 series range from 12 to 18 cores.

Below the top end, Apple currently uses E5-1600 v2 series processors, and Intel is reportedly preparing a full set of successor v3 chips for launch next month.

- 4-core: 3.7 GHz E5-1620 v2 moves to 3.5 GHz E5-1620 v3 or 3.7 GHz E5-1630 v3
- 6-core: 3.5 GHz E5-1650 v2 moves to 3.5 GHz E5-1650 v3
- 8-core: 3.0 GHz E5-1680 v2 moves to 3.2 GHz E5-1680 v3

As with the E5-2600 v3 series chips, these E5-1600 v3 series chips come with higher thermal ratings than their predecessors. All of the new chips in both series also support faster DDR4-2133 memory, which will also contribute to improved performance.

On the graphics side, Apple uses customized versions of AMD's FirePro series of high-end graphics cards, although Apple's D300, D500, and D700 options can be roughly equated with AMD's W7000, W8000, and W9000 on the PC side. Over the last several months, AMD has been updating its FirePro cards, culminating with this week's introduction of four new cards, including the W7100 successor to the W7000 card. Alex4D summarizes how the W9100/W8100/W7100 cards introduced in recent months compare to their predecessors and collates a handy comparison chart showing how these new and old cards compare to Apple's D-series cards.
At each level AMD have at least doubled the VRAM, added 40% more stream processors. The W8100 and W9100 have wider memory buses (so more information can be transferred for each command) and many more transistors.

Although Apple can specify any number of stream processors, clock speeds or VRAM, these more recent cards show what AMD considers is the low-, medium- and high-end when it comes to PCs. For Mac owners perspective, they show how much card for a similar amount of money AMD can now make compared with the cards in the Mac Pro and 2012.
As for when updated Mac Pro models might arrive, that remains unclear, but the good news is that the pieces supporting a potential upgrade are starting to fall into place. While Intel's new processors are reportedly scheduled to arrive next month, it is unlikely a Mac Pro upgrade is that close given Apple's usual iPhone focus for that month. But it seems possible an upgrade could be in the works by late this year or early next year depending on how Apple decides to space out its product launches and at what point it views the Mac Pro as in need of a boost.
Apple today launched a new $49 Mac Pro Security Lock Adapter in its online store, offering users of the new Mac Pro a way to easily secure their machines using existing Kensington locks. Previously, users had to resort to custom building their own locks or ordering more expensive third-party solutions.

Apple's lock adapter is a simple metal bracket that secures the lift-off cover of the Mac Pro to the base of the machine with a security cable, preventing access to the machine's internals. The cable lock can then of course be secured to a bulky object or dedicated security ring found on some desks to make it difficult for thieves to steal the machine.

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The Mac Pro Security Lock Adapter lets you use a compatible Kensington or similar style third-party lock (sold separately) to keep your Mac Pro secure. The adapter attaches without tools and does not modify or damage the Mac. With a compatible lock connected, the Mac Pro Lock Adapter secures the housing to the enclosure, preventing access to internal components.
Since the Mac Pro's appearance in its retail stores, even Apple has had to use alternate methods to secure the machines, opting for an Ethernet-based alarm system that simply sets off an alarm when the Mac Pro is removed rather than securing it in place.

The Mac Pro Security Lock Adapter is available now in the Apple Online Store for $49. The adapter is not yet being offered for immediate pickup in Apple's retail stores, but will presumably be making its way to the company's stores around the world in the coming days.
Nearly six months post launch, base configurations of the new Mac Pro are now available to ship within 24 hours from Apple's online store for its North American and Asia Pacific regions. Base models in other countries are still listed at 3-5 business days, but those should also move to 24 hours soon. Custom-configured models are listed as available to ship in 1 -2 weeks in most countries.

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In addition to orders for shipment, base Mac Pro systems are now also available for same-day Personal Pickup in select U.S. Apple retail stores.

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Apple's latest Mac Pro model is assembled in the U.S. at an Austin, Texas facility run by Flextronics. Tim Cook and Eddy Cue recently visited the factory, which has been receiving praise for bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. The plant is approximately a mile away from Apple's expanding Northwest Austin campus that has added more than 700 workers with the recent first expansion phase and eventually will add 3,600 employees to the previous 3,100 employee campus by the end of 2021.

Since the Mac Pro debuted at the end of 2013, Apple has been quiet on the hardware front in 2014, pushing out a small upgrade to the MacBook Air and a new 8 GB iPhone 5c for some markets. Apple is rumored to be working on a Retina MacBook Air and new iMac models, perhaps including a more affordable iMac that will address growth in foreign markets.
Shipping estimates for the Mac Pro through Apple's online store continue to rapidly improve, with the company's European stores such as the UK now showing 1-2 weeks for new orders. Online stores for other regions are still listing estimates of 2-3 weeks, but they should be seeing a similar improvement shortly.

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After months of shortages for the completely revamped Mac Pro following its December launch, shipping estimates have improved rapidly in recent weeks, although it is unclear how much is due to improved supplies as any kinks have been worked out of Apple's new U.S. production line and how much is due to a slowing of demand after the initial order surge.

(Thanks, Paul!)
Apple’s Mac Pro is now shipping within three to five weeks in the United States, a slight improvement from its previous shipping estimate of four to five weeks.

Both stock and custom configurations list the same shipping estimates, indicating that Apple is slowly making its way towards achieving supply/demand balance on the professional desktop computers.

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In early April, shipping estimates were as high as five to six weeks and back in early 2014, shipping estimates were as high as eight weeks, with Apple giving estimates of "March" or "April" for computers ordered in January or February.

Apple’s Mac Pro has been in short supply since its December launch, selling out of stock configurations in a matter of hours. While some early buyers received their machines as early as December 24, buyers who ordered custom configurations had to wait much longer to receive their machines, as did purchasers who ordered after December 19.

"Demand for the all new Mac Pro is great," said an Apple spokesperson in December. "It will take time before supply catches up with demand."
Mounting and organizing options for heavy duty Mac Pro users continue to grow since the new machine's launch at the end of last year, with Sonnet now announcing a new rack mount enclosure capable of holding two Mac Pros. The new enclosure is an additional option to go along with the enclosure and expansion chassis the company announced last week.

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This time, the Sonnet Rack Mac Pro allows users to rack mount one or two Mac Pro machines in a 4U space. The unit includes a front panel power button with USB 3.0 port for each machine, plus a second USB 3.0 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and an HDMI connector on the back of the rack for each Mac Pro.

There are no rear Thunderbolt ports because, Sonnet says, there are no panel-mount Thunderbolt connectors available. There is, however, room inside the rack for Thunderbolt cables to be attached, and the company says it is "fairly easy" to directly connect Thunderbolt cables and they can be secured to the Mac Pro so they can not be accidentally unplugged.

The Rack Mac Pro also supports the mounting of Thunderbolt to Fibre Channel adapters like the Promise San Link2.

Pricing is expected to be $599 to rack mount a single Mac Pro, with an add-on to mount a second Mac Pro available for $299. Availability is likely to come in June alongside the previously announced combination enclosure and expansion chassis.
PR_2013MacPro_128GB_Intel_XeonBack in January, OWC confirmed that the 2013 Mac Pro's processor was socketed and removable, theoretically allowing for future upgrades, which are now available by the company. As of today, OWC is allowing users to send in their Mac Pros for both processor and memory upgrades.

Processor upgrades, which start at $1,498 with the trade-in of the base Apple-supplied quad-core processor, include 8-core, 10-core, and 12-core models that are compliant with Apple's technical specifications and power requirements. OWC says that the upgrades are tested, qualified, and guaranteed to meet or exceed the processors available from Apple.

According to the company, the processors are up 46 percent faster than base factory processors available from Apple, and up to 31 percent more affordable.
OWC Turnkey Server Class Processor Upgrade options for Mac Pro 2013 models:

- Intel Xeon E5–2650 v2 8-Core 2.6GHz with 20MB Cache, 25% faster, $1498
- Intel Xeon E5–2667 v2 8-Core 3.3GHz with 25MB Cache, 41% faster, $2448
- Intel Xeon E5–2690 v2 10-Core 3.0GHz with 25MB Cache, 45% faster, $2396
- Intel Xeon E5–2697 v2 12-Core 2.7GHz with 30MB Cache, 46% faster, $2978
The company is also offering turnkey installations of its memory upgrades, which as previously announced, are available in 32, 64, 96, and 128 GB kits starting at $449.

OWC's Turnkey Upgrade Program, which is available for processor, memory, and storage upgrades, offers professional installation and testing by Apple Certified technicians, also including shipping both ways and rebates for existing hardware. More information on the program can be found on the Other World Computing upgrade website.
Sonnet has announced a 4U rackmount enclosure and expansion chassis for the new Mac Pro, allowing users to horizontally mount their Mac Pro in a standard data center rack with PCIe expansion capabilities.

The xMac Pro Server includes three PCIe single-width expansion slots, with room for one double-width and one single-width card, Thunderbolt 2 compatibility, and a mounting kit for additional storage or optical drives. On the back, the rack includes three USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and an HDMI port, with a single USB 3.0 port on the front. It includes a 300W power supply and a 75W PCIe power connector for supplemental power to certain power-hungry PCIe cards.

XMac Pro Server
The new Mac Pro has become the object of desire, but a lustrous finish hides its true beauty—the massive power within. If you're a pro user in the video or audio industries, the Mac Pro offers the power you need, but lacks the built-in expandability you count on. In order to achieve this engineering feat, Apple® designers stripped away components and space to a minimum, taking out PCIe slots and drive bays, and packed the remaining components into a small cylinder. Its compact size makes the new Mac Pro more transportable and rackable, but prevents onboard installation of PCIe expansion cards. In addition, the computer still requires an enclosure to make it road- or rack-ready and provide convenient cable management. Sonnet's xMac Pro Server PCIe expansion system/4U rackmount enclosure addresses these issues and increases a Mac Pro's potential in a big way.
Sonnet claims the xMac Pro Server will ship in early June, offering a sign-up sheet for interested customers on its website. It has a suggested price of $1,499.

The company announced Thunderbolt docking stations nearly a year ago but has delayed shipment several times.

Update 12:35PM 3/27/2014: Pricing information added.
mac_pro_ramEarlier this month, Transcend announced the launch of 128 GB RAM kits for the new Mac Pro, offering users willing to spend nearly $2500 the ability to go beyond Apple's maximum of 64 GB.

Several new options for 128 GB RAM upgrades have launched since that time, offering consumer more choices in sourcing their RAM. Last week, MacMall began selling 32 GB modules from Axiom for $620, thus matching Transcend's $2480 price for the full 128 GB kit.

And today, OWC announced its own kit, offering the full 128 GB for $2130, a savings of $350 over Transcend and Axiom for the time being.

As with all of the other 128 GB kits, OWC's will run at 1066 MHz due to limitations in Intel's chipset for addressing the higher capacity of RAM. Lower-capacity RAM kits can run at faster 1866 MHz speeds, but OWC notes that the performance hit of the 128 GB kit is generally minor compared to the benefit of having much more RAM.
While current DRAM device technology limit 32GB modules to a 1066MHz memory clock in the Apple Mac Pro 2013, due to enhanced CAS Performance of OWC MaxRAM 32GB Modules, actual real-world performance is insignificant in low memory need scenarios while offering incredibly significant performance gains in all cases where application use benefits from greater than 64GB of total memory installed.
In addition to its new kits of 32 GB modules, OWC also offers RAM kits for the Mac Pro using 8 GB and 16 GB modules at much lower pricing than through Apple. As a result, customers may prefer to order their Mac Pro from Apple with a minimum of RAM and save some money by upgrading the RAM through OWC or another vendor offering high-quality RAM for lower prices than at Apple.
boot_camp_iconApple's Mac Pro only supports installations of Windows 8 or later with Boot Camp, according to an updated Apple Support document that lists versions of Windows compatible with the 2013 Mac Pro.

Boot Camp Assistant on the Mac Pro also specifies that it only includes support for Windows 8 or later, as evidenced in a screenshot from Twocanoes Software (via MacWindows) indicating that users are not able to install earlier versions of Windows. The 2013 Mac Pro is the first Mac that does not include support for Windows 7 with Boot Camp 5.

It is unclear why Apple has chosen to drop support for Windows 7 on the Mac Pro, but it could be a sign that the company intends to discontinue support for the operating system in future Macs given its advanced age.

This decision may not sit well with users, as Windows 8, released in 2012, has not been particularly popular. As of this month, Windows 8 and 8.1 only represented 10.68 percent of total worldwide OS market share, while Windows 7 represented 47.31 percent. Combined, Windows is installed on 90.84 percent of the world's computers.
Just hours after Apple began taking orders for the new Mac Pro back in December, shipping estimates slipped to "February". However, Apple will not meet that deadline for a number of customers.

One customer told MacRumors that an Apple representative told him earlier today that his 6-core unit, originally ordered on January 7, "will not ship in February as originally stated" and instead "will be shipping in 5-7 business days and will be reflected in the on-line shipping status early next week." Some Mac Pro buyers on the MacRumors forums have been notified of similar delays. The delay puts deliveries in the first or second week of March.

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The reader told us that he received two emails at the beginning and middle of the month promising delivery by the end of February, however, both those emails turned out to be incorrect. Here's the text of one from February 17:
We'd like to give you another update on the status of your Mac Pro order.

Your Mac Pro is still scheduled to ship in February. We'll send you an email notification with the delivery date and tracking information once its on its way.

For the most up-to-date delivery information, visit Order Status on the Apple Online store. If you have an iOS device, you can check your order status using the Apple Store app for iPad or iPhone.

We appreciate your patience and look forward to getting the new Mac Pro to you as soon as possible.
Current U.S. Apple Online Store orders for the Mac Pro have an expected ship date of April.
Apple today released Mac Pro SMC Update 2.0, enabling a Mac Pro to enter Power Nap mode without running the fan for Power Nap activities. The update also includes a fix for an issue that caused a low-speed USB device not to be detected at startup.

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This update is recommended for all Mac Pro (Late 2013) models. This update enables Mac Pro to enter Power Nap without running the fan for most Power Nap activities, and addresses a rare issue where a low-speed USB device may not be detected at boot.
The Mac Pro update is recommended for all Mac Pro models from late 2013 and can be downloaded from Apple's support site or via the Software Update tool in the Mac App Store.
mavericks_macsWith Apple's Mac lineup beginning to show signs of aging, consumers are no doubt starting to wonder when they can expect updated models to hit the market. Apple's product update cycles are in large part driven by availability of new processors, so it pays to take a look at Intel's roadmap to see what might be coming when to give Apple new options for upgrades.

The MacBook Air is currently the older of Apple's two current notebook lines (setting aside the non-Retina MacBook Pro that has been reduced to a single 13-inch model and hasn't been updated since June 2012). Apple's ultrathin notebook currently offers a choice of two low-power 15-watt Haswell chips to help achieve remarkable all-day battery life. Entry-level models include a 1.3 GHz i5-4250U chip, while higher-end models bump up to a 1.7 GHz i7-4650U processor. Both chips include Intel's "Iris 5000" integrated graphics that offers reasonable everyday performance in a power-efficient design.

According to an Intel roadmap leaked by VR-Zone [Google Translate], a successor to the current low-end chip is set to launch in the third quarter in the form of an i5-4260U Haswell refresh, presumably carrying just a small speed bump compared to the current chip. Another alternative for Apple could be the 1.4 GHz i5-4350U or its just-announced successor 1.5 GHz i5-4360U. The 4350U chip has been available since last year, but Apple elected not to use it in the current MacBook Air. The high-end MacBook Air situation is less clear, as leaked roadmaps have not yet shown a direct successor to the current i7-4650U chip.

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Shipping estimates for new orders of the redesigned Mac Pro have now slipped to April in many of Apple's stores around the world (via MacGeneration) [Google Translate].

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This is the second time in two months that the Mac Pro has showed a change in shipping estimates, as Apple's stores around the world began to show a "March" shipping estimate last month. While the new shipping estimates do not necessarily reflect a worsening supply given that shipping delays have been persistent so far throughout the computer's launch, the changes do indicate that Apple has yet to make up significant ground as lead times appear to be remaining in the six-to-seven week range.

The new April shipping estimates are in effect for stock and custom configurations throughout Apple's online stores for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) operational regions. Estimates in Apple's stores for the Americas remain at March for the time being.

Update: Shipping estimates in the Americas have now also moved to April for all models.
Shipping estimates for new orders of stock configurations of the redesigned Mac Pro have now moved to March in many of Apple's online stores around the world.

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The change in shipping estimates does not necessarily reflect a worsening supply situation given that estimates have been listed at "February" essentially since launch last month, but they do indicate that Apple is not making up significant ground as lead times appear to be remaining in the six-week range.

The new March shipping estimates are in effect for stock and build-to-order configurations throughout Apple's online stores for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) operational regions. Estimates in Apple's stores for the Americas remain at February for the time being.

Update: As of January 21, Mac Pro shipping estimates in the United States, Mexico, and Canada have also slipped to March.
2013_mac_pro Deliveries of Apple's redesigned Mac Pro have begun in Europe, marking the first time in nearly a year that customers there have been able to obtain the company's professional workstation, notes MacGeneration [Google Translate] (via 9to5Mac).

Sales of the previous-generation Mac Pro in Europe were halted as of March 1, 2013 due to new regulatory requirements regarding I/O port power and fan guard placement. Rather than update the aging machine to comply with the new regulation, Apple elected to withdraw the Mac Pro from sale at that time.

Orders for the new Mac Pro began in mid-December, and while the first deliveries of stock models occurred in the United States in time for Christmas, it took several more weeks before deliveries began in Europe.

Currently, Apple's stores in Europe and elsewhere list a ship date of February for new orders of the computer.

Update: This article has been revised to clarify that the halt to Mac Pro sales in Europe was a decision by Apple not to update the previous Mac Pro to comply with the new regulatory requirements. It was also edited to emphasize that deliveries of the new Mac Pro are just now beginning in Europe. The machine has been available to order since mid-December when it went on sale worldwide, but short supplies have led to lengthy lead time on orders.
Following the release of the Mac Pro, a quick teardown by Other World Computing (OWC) revealed that the tower's Intel Xeon E5 processor was socketed and removable, theoretically allowing for future upgrades. All CPUs in the Mac Pro were found to use the same LGA 2011 socket standardized on the Mac Pro's motherboard.

Today OWC confirmed that the Mac Pro's processor is indeed upgradeable, successfully replacing the default Intel E5–1650 V2 6-core 3.50Ghz processor with an Intel E5–2667 V2 8-core 3.30GHz processor with 25MB of L3 cache, an option not offered by Apple. The upgraded processor gave OWC's machine a 30 percent multi-processor performance boost, outperforming Apple's standard 8-core option with a Geekbench score of 27004 vs. 24429.

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With a replaceable CPU, customers can purchase more affordable lower-configuration Mac Pros that can be updated in the future as processor prices drop. Prices for multi-core processors today remain high, with the CPU OWC used from Intel priced at $2000. Apple's own CPU upgrade options range in price from $500 to $3500. Based on the 3.7Ghz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 with 10MB of L3 cache, pricing from Apple is as follows:

- 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 with 12MB of L3 cache: +$500
- 3.0GHz 8-core Intel Xeon E5 with 25MB of L3 cache: +$2000
- 2.7GHz 12-core Intel Xeon E5 with 30MB of L3 cache: +$3500

The upgradeable CPU in the Mac Pro is a deviation from standard practice for Apple, with most consumer-oriented Macs featuring soldered processors. Along with a removable CPU, Mac Pro buyers are also able to upgrade memory and other components. In a recent teardown, iFixit gave the Mac Pro a repairability score of 8 out of 10, highlighting the easily accessible internal components and the non-proprietary screws.

Apple's Mac Pro is currently available exclusively through the online Apple Store. Due to low supply and high demand, new orders are not expected to ship until February or later, but customers who placed orders shortly after the computer went on sale have begun receiving units.
According to a new Apple support document, though the new Mac Pro is designed to be used in the upright position, it can also be used on its side. Owners of multiple Mac Pro units should ensure that the exhaust and intake ports are not aligned too closely as this can affect the cooling abilities of the machine.

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The Mac Pro (2013) has a fan system capable of cooling the computer in a vertical or horizontal orientation as long as you follow these guidelines.

- Provide enough space at each end of the computer for unrestricted airflow into the base and out the exhaust at the top. Make sure that the air intake and exhaust ports are not covered.

- When using multiple Mac Pro (Late 2013) computers, do not direct the exhaust at the top of one Mac Pro towards the intake of another system. Place the computers side by side with a gap of at least several inches between them.

- When on its side, secure the Mac Pro (Late 2013) to be sure that it doesn't roll. Place the computer on a protective surface that will not scratch or damage the enclosure. Note: The Apple Limited Warranty does not cover cosmetic damage to the enclosure.

- Orient the computer so that the Input/Output (I/O) panel remains accessible during use.
It is likely that third-party companies will come out with rack-mount options for the new Mac Pro at some point and those mounts could see the machine aligned on its side in order to maximize space.

(Sideways Mac Pro courtesy The Verge)
Apple has begun shipping custom configured Mac Pro units to customers according to MacRumors Forum members, some two weeks after stock configurations began arriving just before Christmas.

According to several posters on the MacRumors forums, a number of custom configured models have seen their order status change to "Preparing for Shipping", which typically happens one day before an actual shipment. A couple have even seen their machines actually ship, with some expected to arrive as soon as today.

Stock configurations ordered early on launch day have been shipping more consistently, while custom orders have seen longer delays.

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Separately, Electronista reported earlier this week that Apple may not have sufficient Mac Pro units to stock its Apple Stores until March or April. Currently, customers are being advised to order units online and they will ship when available -- estimated ship times for the Mac Pro are currently targeted to February.
Apple's in-demand new Mac Pro will not be available to in store customers until as late as March or April. The information was supplied to us by an Apple Australia business sales specialist who also advised that they are being told to direct customers to the online channel as it the only way that customers can currently secure a new Mac Pro -- the advice also applies to those who may have already placed an order on a unit in store. Apple's online store is still showing that Mac Pros ordered now will not ship until sometime in February at the earliest. The only Mac Pro units to have reached some Apple Stores are demonstrator units and this is not expected to change for some months.
Mac Pro models still show an "available to ship" estimate of February on the U.S. Apple Online Store, while Mac Pro units appear to be out-of-stock at all Apple Retail Stores.

Update: One customer whose build-to-order Mac Pro shipped on December 31 has received the order today.

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In its lengthy review of the new Mac Pro, AnandTech discovered that the Mac Pro's current support for 4K monitors leaves something to be desired. The reviewer connected the Sharp 32" 4K display that Apple currently offers on the Apple Online Store, expecting that OS X work the same way on that panel as Apple's current Retina MacBook Pro models do.

On those machines, Apple renders the screen at full resolution but then renders text, menu and UI elements at 4x their normal resolution so they are the appropriate physical size for the user. It also offers multiple options to scale UI elements up or down as the user prefers. Instead, using the Sharp panel with the Mac Pro makes text and other on-screen elements -- aside from photos and video -- very small and difficult to read.

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I was fully expecting all of this to be available on the Mac Pro when connected to a 32” 4K display. By default, there’s only a single supported scaled resolution: 2560 x 1440. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Apple is running the same supersampling routines when you pick this resolution, instead you get a 2560 x 1440 desktop scaled up to 3840 x 2160 (rather than a 5120 x 2880 screen scaled down). The result is a bit of a blurry mess.

You can use tools like SwitchResX (or Quartz Debug or the necessary Terminal command) to enable a 1080p HiDPI mode, but then you end up with insanely low point density of around 68 PPI. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be possible to define your own HiDPI modes in OS X, you have to rely on those that Apple officially supports. I tried creating a 5120 x 2880 (2560 x 1440 HiDPI) mode but I couldn't get it working under Mavericks. I'm not sure if I was limited by the OS or if Sharp's EDID-specified max resolution of 3840 x 2160 prevented OS X from accepting what I was trying to do.
AnandTech also tried the new Dell UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD display but found that the display is not properly supported by the Mac Pro.

The reviewer calls OS X's 4K display support "a bit like the wild west at this point", though he anticipates Apple will fix things with both software updates and its own displays in the future -- but urges early adopters to be aware of what they're getting into.
I am disappointed that Apple didn’t enable any HiDPI modes on the 32” Sharp display. While I found 3840 x 2160 a great resolution for video work, for everything else it made on-screen menus and text a bit too small. I would love to see a 2560 x 1440 HiDPI option (rendering offscreen at 5120 x 2880 and but scaling down to 3840 x 2160 for display) but it looks like I may have to wait for Apple’s own display before I get something like that.
It's been two years since Apple has updated its standalone display lineup, and the company is expected to come out with new models sooner rather than later. However, there are no concrete rumors suggesting when such an update might happen.